To Dish or Not to Dish

Satellite TV has never been as popular--or in as much of a mess. Should you consider switching?

If you own one of those dangerously addictive devices known as televisions, chances are you get your fix from a hole in the ground. Of the 106 million TV households in America, 63% are cable subscribers. But that percentage is going in the same direction as the coaxial cable: down. A new study by J.D. Power & Associates identifies a clear trend: every year cable loses another 2% of total viewers, and satellite picks up the slack. In 1996 only 5 million viewers owned a dish; today the number is closer to 17 million.

At the same time, however, the world...

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